Special Needs Resources
Special needs resources in Austin continue to expand to help meet the rising needs. Many area school districts offer assistance, so it often helps to inquire about special programs for children.
Parents who have children with special needs will find a wealth of resources in Austin to ensure that kids get the care they need to thrive and succeed.
Not only does each and every Austin area school district have special education resources within the school system, there are also specialized schools and centers across the city for those with learning disabilities, visual, speech, or hearing impairments, autism, mental retardation, orthopedic impairments, traumatic brain injuries, or other special needs. The following is a list of schools and resources for Austin parents.
Higher Education for Students with DisabilitiesCommunity for Accredited Schools Guide
This guide helps students with disabilities and their parents better understand their rights when it comes to post-secondary education. In addition to outlining laws and regulations that apply specifically to students with disabilities, our guide offers tips and information about finding a college or university that best suits a student’s needs.
Both these services provide funding for therapies, assisted/supported living, home modifications, nursing, and more. Waiting lists are years long, so parents should sign up as soon as possible.
Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation512-472-4357
Links families to other support services and wait lists, respite, in-home and family support, and case-management.
Children with Special Healthcare Needs800-252-8023 www.dshs.state.tx.us/cshcn/default.shtm
Department of Health - provides case management and supports family-centered, community based strategies for improving quality of life for children with special health care needs.
Medically Dependent Children’s Program (MDCP)877-438-5658 (waiting list)
Department of Human Services – provides a variety of services.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income)512-916-5404 – Austin/Travis County 800-772-1213
Monthly payment and/or Medicaid; dependent on income and disability.
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative ServicesDARS Inquiries line: (800) 628-5115 www.dars.state.tx.us
Advocacy for Texans of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing. Also provides services and programs for Texans of all ages who are blind or visually impaired, including transition services for those aged 13-22, as well as assistance in vocational rehabilitation and job counseling for Texans with disabilities (all ages).
Family Support Cooperative512-414-0955
Support and informational meetings every Tuesday night during the AISD school semester at Rosedale School that includes free pizza, free childcare, and sibling activities.
Parent & School Support Team – AISD512-414-0955
Referral information, problem-solving between schools and families, help with transitions.
ARC of the Capital Area512-476-7044
Respite, parent-to-parent matches, food and clothing pantry, case-management.
ARCIL, Inc. (Austin Resource Center for Independent Living)512-832-6349
Advocacy and referrals for all ages, independent living skills and transition assistance for teens (14 and up).
ECI (Early Childhood Intervention)DARS Inquiries line: (800) 628-5115 www.dars.state.tx.us
A division of the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, ECI is a statewide program for families with children, birth to three, with disabilities and developmental delays. ECI supports families to help their children reach their potential through developmental services. Services are provided by a variety of local agencies and organizations across Texas.
First Call for Help512-324-1899
Comprehensive, confidential information and referral program with a computerized database of services for Travis County residents.
GAFE (Grupo De Apoyo Para Familias Especiales)512-385-8839
Advocacy and support services to Spanish-speaking families.
McBeth Recreation Center
Provides programs and recreation participation opportunities for children, teens, and adults who have developmental and/or physical challenges.
Assists with special education laws, regulations and ARDs.
Disability Services ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) at SafePlace512-267-7233 www.austin-safeplace.org
Abuse prevention and education for teachers, parents and students with disabilities.
Independent Steps469-600-4336 www.independentsteps.com
Independent Steps provides rehabilitation services in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for children and adults with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, brain injury, or post-stroke conditions. We specialize in the Conductive Education methodology, which is aimed at rebuilding the mental processes and cognitive skills needed to overcome basic challenges such as learning to roll, crawl, sit, stand, walk, eat, write, and become potty trained.
Texas Parent to Parent512-458-8600 or (866) 896-6001 www.txP2P.org
A statewide non-profit developed for parents by parents: provides parent to parent matches, support, information, website, resources, newsletter, training.
WorkSource - Child Care Solutions512-302-0710
Assists with childcare funding for families who are financially eligible and are working, in school, or in training.
NATIONAL RESOURCESSSI (Supplemental Security Income) 800-772-1213
Monthly payment and Medicaid; based on family income and resources if child is under age 18; based on individual if over 18.
NICHY (National Information Center for Children and Youth w/ Disabilities)800-695-0285 www.nichy.org
Disability library and information on related services; produces state resource sheet.
Autism Parent Magazinehttp://www.autismparentingmagazine.com/autism-resources-parents/
Up-to-date news and professional guidance for parents and children on the subject of autism. Visit their site for a free issue of the magazine.
Exceptional Parent Magazine800-247-8080 www.eparent.com
Monthly magazine for parents and professional; National website includes resources for parent to parent programs; information and referral centers, disability library, services, products and much more.
A global community that integrates information, resources, disabilities library and communication opportunities on the Internet.
NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders)800-999-6673 www.rarediseases.org
Information and referrals on rare disorders.
MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support)909-336-5333 www.netnet.net/mums/
National parent-to-parent network; provides information and emotional support to parents whose child has a rare disorder.
NIH (National Institute of Health)301-402-4336 www.nih.gov
Stephen Groft at the office of rare diseases provides information on which hospitals and physicians are doing research or clinical trails on any disease.
NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness)800-950-6264 www.nami.org
Provides information and training programs for caregivers of individuals with mental health issues or brain disorders.
INTERNET RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES Advocacy Inc.www.advocacyinc.org
The ARC of Texaswww.thearcoftexas.org
NICHCY (National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities)www.nichcy.org
TEA (Texas Education Agency) – Special Educationhttp://tea.texas.gov/Curriculum_and_Instructional_Programs/Special_Education/ (See Educational Programs, then Special Programs.)
Action Behaviorwww.ActionBehavior.com Offers therapy programs for children with Autism.
Autism Parent Resources
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